Schedule Today!

Search This Blog

Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vacation and Meeting Your Weight Goals

As any seasoned dieter can attest, there are three dining options on vacation: Losing, gaining or maintaining.

Eating well and staying active on a getaway can, no doubt, be a challenge. Many people use the word “vacation” as an excuse to indulge and take a break from everything, including a healthy lifestyle.

But according to those in-the-know, maintaining and even losing weight is possible while still enjoying your time off, whether it’s a trip to a theme park, island retreat or a cruise with its all-you-can-eat mentality.

“People focus in on vacation as food,” says Rosemary Barresi, a Staten Island Weight Watchers leader and leader mentor. “A lot of members say, ‘vacation is I’m on vacation.’”

But, a question needs to be asked: “Are you there to see the sites or to see the restaurants?”

“It’s all about personal choice,” says Ms. Barresi. “What’s important for me at this moment? And what does it get me long-term?”

She recently took a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and lost 2.6 pounds while there. She dined out, but was mindful of portion control, using her motto of “food as fuel, not food as fun.” That’s not to say she didn’t indulge with dessert, but she didn’t ask for seconds and didn’t have it with every meal.

Ms. Barresi also made sure she didn’t skip meals, which can set you up to overeat during the next meal. And she paid attention to her own hunger signs. “Your body let’s you know when you’re done,” she says. “You don’t have to keep hitting override.”

For exercise, Ms. Barresi simply walked. Whenever she had the chance, she used her legs instead of taking the easy, lazier route. For example, instead of taking a monorail across the theme park, she walked the distance.

“I always walk because I always have my feet on me, there’s no excuse,” she says.

Grace Duffield, author of “Travel Well: Exercises and Healthy Habits for People on the Go” ($29.95, Personal Best Publishing), notes that healthy habits don’t have to be “all or nothing” during vacation. Being too uptight can be just as bad as being too lenient.

“If you’re too strict, people realize I can’t do this on vacation and then go to the other extreme,” she says.

Before leaving for a trip, it’s good to be prepared, the author says. Call your hotel or cruise line and ask if they can put a refrigerator in your room. This way, you won’t have to eat out every night and can store healthy options in your room.

Also, take snacks with you. “A lot of the control that we lose when we’re traveling is that we get too hungry. For some reason, we skip a meal or it’s too late. You want to prepare for this. Once you’re hungry, you might eat a whole basket of bread at a restaurant,” Ms. Duffield says.

When it comes to ordering out, she advocates choosing foods that are steamed or poached and staying away from options with cream or that are deep fried.

“Don’t always feel like you have to clean your plate,” she advises. “You may share meals with people and don’t get appetizers at every meal. If it’s a buffet and food is free, especially like those on a cruise, just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to over-consume.”

In addition, plan for exercise, says Ms. Duffield, the founder of the Your Personal Best Trainer, Inc. fitness studios in Ridgefield, Conn., and Somers, N.Y. Remember to pack a bathing suit for the pool and good walking shoes.

Although your hotel may have a gym, don’t count on it for exercise, she says. Workouts can be done in your room, whether it’s a squat performed against a wall, resistance band exercises (an easy item to pack) or exercises using your chair, like a butt raise to work the glutes. You can also bring a favorite exercise DVD.

When it boils down to it, whether it’s healthy eating or staying active, Weight Watchers’ Ms. Barresi points to an expression used in her groups that can apply to both: “You rest, you rust.”

“A vacation is not a vacation from your lifestyle,” she concludes. “Ask, what do you want to happen when you come back? If it’s about the food — the mindset is it’s all inclusive, I paid for it — you’re going to pay for it on the scale.”

Wow who would of thought you can reach your health and weight goals and still have fun on vacation!

Available at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Have off this summer and your kids too...join us

Ready to lose weight & live healthy? PIck a program below:

Join us this summer while we learn how to eat healthy and burn calories to reach our weight goals. The program includes:

Workouts with a Certified Personal Trainer
Nutrition education & healthy recipes
Weekly weigh ins and biggest loser prizes
Babysitting available & includes a fun health program for kids
June 7th to August 19th♦ Tuesdays & Fridays at 9:30 a.m

Shadyside Park, 1645 Shadyside Rd, Downingtown

Keystone and Personal Choice insurances covers entire program. Call to inquire about costs.